How to choose a wooden gate for an equestrian fencing solution?
The chose of a wooden gate is a real brainteaser for many horse owners. What constitutes its quality? What to think about? We answer all your questions.
What constitutes quality for a wooden gate? Firstly, it must be solid, practical and ergonomic. It has a long life span and guarantees the security of both people and horses. Before deciding, you must determine what precise width the gate should have, according to what use you will put it to.
Choose thicker wood
The first attraction of a good wooden gate is without a doubt its solidity. The posts are thicker than those of a simple enclosing fence. They are always square to allow the screwing on of the hinges. In order to secure the stability of the gate, the posts are cemented a meter into the ground. The crossbars and the supports are also thicker than those of a normal equestrian fence. At Peter Muller we advise the use of an 8 cm thick structural framework. All the wood is of course pre-manufactured at the factory, after which the assembly is done either with tenons and mortises or at half-lap joint. Afterwards they are solidly screwed on.
Choice of material: spruce, zinced metalwork
Always keen to produce them more robust, DURAfence gates have a diagonal. This allows an optimum spread of the gate’s weight at the post on which we have fixed the hinges. The hinges can always be re-adjusted, in order to straighten up the gate as it drops down with time.
A last note regarding the choice of material: the zinc-coated screws should be your choice because they are weather and wood acid-resistant. It would be best to choose dried and planed spruce instead of pine, a wood that is too knotty.
Single or double gate?
Usually single gates offer an opening gap of up to 3,5 meters. These are useful for entry into paddocks, for example, as the rider can control the horse with one hand and open the gate with the other. An opening of 3,5 meters allows also to enter occasionally with a tractor. For a greater opening you’d be advised to choose a double gate. If you are entering regularly with a farming vehicle – a harrow for example – you should allow for an opening of at least 4 meters.
Think about hills and roads!
Beware: it is not enough to just measure the width of the farming vehicle! If it is not possible to approach the gate head on, it is necessary to choose a larger one, otherwise the convoy may drift off. Consider carefully also whether your gate will be opening towards a slope or onto a main road. In such cases a double gate with smaller wings is preferable. If possible, choose a gate opening into the field; otherwise it may come in the way of traffic.
Avoid very large spaces
We dispose with quite a few different methods to secure the stability of a gate. Most of all, we should avoid large gaps between the crossbars and/or between the posts and the gate itself: the horse may put his head or maybe a leg through them and hurt himself. The Peter Müller company advises you always to align well the gate with the fence, so that the rider avoids an injury while passing along the fence. If your wooden fencing is equipped with electric wiring, we advise you to bury the wire rather than expose it unattractively over the gate. There is effectively a risk that you may tear it if you go through with a farming vehicle.
The Wooden Gates Peter Muller: personalised quality gates
At Peter Muller we offer a large spectrum of standard gates. If you prefer, we could also create a made-to-measure gate, which could be of special interest for entrance gates to a property that impose specific dimensions. If required, the gates could be equipped with remote control, locks or a latch. The padlock is part of the standard equipment of our gates.